IWD 2020: MMS WoFHoF empowers over 300 women, seeks enforcement of laws against gender discrimination



MMS Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame(WoFHoF)initiative has empowered over three hundred women via career and entrepreneurship mentoring as well as provision of small and micro credit grants even as it admonished Nigerian women to push for enforcement of the numerous laws which kick against gender discrimination in Nigeria and Africa.

The Founder, MMS WoFHoF Initiative, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke made this call when the Initiative organized a road walk and press conference in Lagos, recently to mark the 2020 International Women’s Day (IWD).

According to him, there are sufficient laws to suppress the victimization of women in the country nevertheless the menace persists across several sectors of the nation’s economy, including governance.

This position was corroborated Professor Joy Ezeilo, a feminine activist who introduced a course in the Nigerian University Council’s curriculum called, “Women, Children & The Law”, in 1997.

She lamented that despite using the court room and the classroom to advocate for women's rights for several years, the law has done so little for Nigerian women.

“Too many laws have been passed and international treaties signed in the name of gender equality, yet patriarchy is still nowhere near extinction. Younger women need to push harder!,” she posted on social media to mark IWD 2020.

Ezeilo had ventured into the world of activism after her mother was asked to 'leave the township' and relocate to the village following her husband’s funeral. That incident taught her early in life that the legal framework for non-discrimination does not really work for women who are poor, widowed, and in the middle of sanction and stigma.

Anaroke also admonished women to develop the leadership, fiscal and entrepreneurial capabilities to correct the paltry representation of 4.5 percent on global Chief Executive Officers index.

According to him, the MMS WoFHoF Initiative has empowered over three hundred women via career and entrepreneurship mentoring as well as provision of small and micro credit grants, noting that women have proven to be better managers of resources and personnel.

“Come April 2nd, 2020, we shall be having the MMS Hall of Famers’ Day commemoration of the 2020 IWD during which ten women of substance shall be recognized as UN Generation Amazons while beneficiaries of the 5W-250,000 scheme shall reel out their testimonials,” Anaroke said.

The UN Generation Amazons to be celebrated at the event have been selected from Nigeria’s transportation, finance, oil and gas, among other sectors. They are; Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, Mrs. Sarat Braimah, Mrs. Stella Romaine, Mrs. Bridget Gold, Mrs. Rejoice Ndudinachi, Mrs. Princess Chi Ezeh, Mrs. Felicia Agubata.

Others are; Mrs. Victoria Tarfa, Mrs. Ebele Okoyo, Mrs. Obelle Joy,  Mrs. Folake Soyinka, Mrs. Chizoba Anyika and Mrs. Mercy Ebere.

The event which is the 3rd MMS Hall of Famers’ Day would take place on April 2nd, 2020 by 4pm at Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos and it would have the Chairperson, Nigerian Ship-Owners Forum, Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi, as the Chief Host, while the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji-Dada will be the Guest Speaker.

The Chairman of the event would be the Lagos Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Mrs. Phil Nneji who is to represent the national president of FIDA. The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen will be the Special Guest of Honour, while the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi will be the Chief Guest of Honour.

Also speaking at the press conference ahead of the Hall of Famers Day celebration, the Program Manager, MMS WoFHoF Initiative, Mr. John Kwushue urged women to break barriers of gender inequality with preparedness in self-actualization and empowerment in career, education and entrepreneurship.

“Despite increased awareness on gender parity, it is disheartening to note that the gap in gender inequality in economic spectrum would take 257 years to be closed, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) recent report,” he said.

He lamented that in politics, women hold less than 20% of the elected positions worldwide despite the numeric advantage across most nations of the world.

“We are looking forward into a situation where we will have 50% women involvement in these indices and we are getting there. So, what we are saying is that gender bias in our society is still there and at MMS WoFHoF Initiative, we would remain resolute in the bid to close this gap”, he said.

According to him, the 2020 UN theme seeks to aggregate years of the struggle for equity but the local theme seeks to break barriers of gender inequality with preparedness in self-actualization and empowerment in education, entrepreneurship and career choices.

“It is scandalous to note that the gap in gender inequality in economic spectrum requires 257 years to be closed, according to the report by World Economic Forum (WEF).  This seems to have enthroned hopelessness against the years of struggle to achieve this goal which has been through several years of campaigns and initiatives. Gender bias exists in every aspect of our society, from the family to religion; work place to politics,” he lamented.

“Women hold less than 20 percent of the elected positions worldwide, gender bias in the media is 9 out 10, and musicians are mostly men because men are easily accepted than women. At work, the average working woman make less money than an average working man in the same qualification,” he asserted.

While Kwushue decried the challenges, the Founder, Mr. Anaroke, expressed optimism noting that the initiative has empowered over 300 women through career, entrepreneurship mentorship and capacity building as well as providing small and micro credit grant to them to be self-actualized and fulfilled. 

He said: "We have initiated vision 5W-250,000 through which 250,000 women will be fortified economically in the next five years."